BIRTH OF A NATION ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN

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PART-1

The Pakistan Movement, led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, a barrister from Karachi ,was a political movement in the 1940s that aimed for the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of Indian subcontinent .This struggle was based on the ideology of ‘two nations theory’, which asserted that the Muslims and Hindus in India are two separate nations, with their own customs, religion and traditions; therefore from social and moral points of view, Muslims should be able to have their own separate homeland, separate from Hindu- majority , in which Islam is the dominant religion. Jinnah as the leader of the All- India Muslim League led the struggle for a separate home land for the Muslims of India. The joint efforts by Hindus under the banner of Indian National  Congress led by Mohan Das Gandhi and the Muslim League against the British occupation lead to the acceptance of two independent states in 1946, by the Rulers.

The agreed formula between the three sides for the division was, that  the Muslim majority areas under British subjugation would become part of Pakistan while Hindu dominated states to form part of Indian domain.. This Indian Partition Act did not apply to more than 630 Princely states whose rulers were given the option of seeding to any state based on population bias and  geographical contiguity. This divide on nationalism basis led to the creation of Pakistan on 14 August 1947 and India a day later. The creation of Pakistan was catalyst to the largest demographic movement in the recorded history. Nearly seventeen million people- Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs moved in both directions between India and Eastern (now Bangladesh) and Western wings of Pakistan. There was a large scale violence, with estimates of the loss of life accompanying or preceding the partition varying between several hundred thousand and two million .

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, with its founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah as its first Governor General came to existence with barely 33 percent share of the assets of the armed forces and financial outlays of un-divided India.The contentious nature of the partition with 87 percent Muslim majority state of Kashmir forcibly made to accede to India and the violent religious riots, an environments of hostility and mistrust between Pakistan and India, that affect their bilateral relations even to this day. Mohammad Ali Jinnah died barely an year after the creation of Pakistan in September, 1948. The death of one man should not mean so much but the untimely death of its founder, who had a plan for the newly founded nation, lead to crises of the envisaged identity and decades of political and economic turmoil.

Pakistan is world’s fifth- populous country with a population of almost 227 million, and has the world’s second largest Muslim population. Pakistan is strategically located on the geopolitical juncture between the capricious West, South and Central Asia. It has 881,913 kilometres area and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southeast and China to the northeast. It has a 1,046 kilometres coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south. Karachi is the largest port with Gwadar deep- sea, as  the second port.

Pakistan is the site of several ancient cultures, including the 8500-year-old Neolithic site of Mehrgarh in Baluchistan and the Indus Valley Civilisation of the Bronze Age, the most extensive civilisation of the Old World. The region was the realm of multiple empires and dynasties, including that of Alexander the Great; the Seleucid, the Maury’s, the Umayyad Caliphate in its southern region, the Ghaznavids, the Mughals, the Durrani, the Sikh Empire, British East India Company rule and the recent British Indian

Empire from 1858 to 1947.

After Independence, Pakistan drafted its constitution in 1956 and emerged as a declared Islamic Republic. In 1971, the 1000 miles apart, exclave of East Pakistan seceded as the new country of Bangladesh after a nine month long civil war instigated and supported by India. It has five provinces in the Punjab, Sind, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Baluchistan and the recent addition of Gilgit Baltistan. The part of the disputed territory of Kashmir, aligned to Pakistan, Azad Kashmir, has its independent President, Prime Minister and a legislative Assembly. Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir with 8 million Muslim population remains a United Nations recognised international dispute and has been the cause of three wars and many skirmishes between India and Pakistan.

In the seven decades following its creation, Pakistan has been ruled by governments alternated between civilian and military, democratic and authoritarian. The present constitution of Pakistan, with parliamentary form of government was adopted by consensus vote in 1973 and has an upper house in Senate with equal representation by all the provinces and a lower house in National Assembly which has 342 seats, out of which, 272 are by direct elections on the basis of population-based constituencies and 60 are reserved for women and 10 for religious minorities. The general elections on adult franchise are scheduled to be held after a maximum tenure of  five years.

Pakistan, a member of the Third World, is a middle power nation and has the world’s sixth largest standing armed forces. It is a declared nuclear weapon and ballistic missiles state and is ranked amongst the emerging and leading economies. It has a multicultural and multi-ethnic society with diverse geography from seven out of thirteen tallest mountains in the world in north to plains in centre irrigated by five rivers to desert in the south. It hosts one of the largest refugee population in the world (more than 2.2 million). Pakistan has an agro based economy and posses the world’s largest contiguous gravity based irrigation system with the length of canals extending 56,073 km. Women form almost 48 percent of its gender population and participate in all fields including the armed forces. It has more than 184 universities and has world’s seventh largest base of scientists. It has a sixty percent youth population with an average age between 15-29 years. Pakistan chequered political history has been characterised by periods of significant economic and military growths as well as marred by political and economic instability. English is the official language whereas Urdu is the National dialect.

Pakistan is a member of the United Nations and one of the largest contributor to UN  Peace keeping missions.  It is also the member of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Commonwealth of Nations, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and the Islamic Military Counter- Terrorism Coalition and is designated as a major non- NATO ally by the United States.Post 9/11,Pakistan has been a front line state in fight against terrorism and in two decades have suffered almost 80,000 deaths including both military and civilians and US Dollar 103 Billion in economic losses, in fight against terrorism.

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